Monday, December 30, 2013

Coming up to speed with MtDNA

I received my Full Sequence MtDNA results in December. Of course I had no matches at this level, because so few people have tested at this level. I saw a figure of about 18,000 testers at the full sequence level (this number is probably outdated by one year or so). I would need a large number of Nicaraguans testing to find a close match at his level.
I've done a lot of research on the L2a1, and specifically the F subclade. L Haplo is African and about 55,000 years old. I found out that subclade F is anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 years old. As you can imagine this subclade could travel far and wide throughout Africa over thousands of years. It is widespread in Northern and Central Africa, and made in roads into the Middle East. It is found in Saudi Arabia, and seems to have been spread into Europe by the Jews.
Example 1
We do now have Nicaraguans testing with Family Tree DNA, and I hope to have a close match at some point.
My results mismatched the L2a1f subclade by two mutations, and I have a number of extra mutations. It looks like this will lead to another subclade, which may eventually lead to a more specific location of origin for my ancestors.
Example 2
I've been attending the new series of webinars presented by Family Tree DNA. The MtDNA session was so enlightening! I really had no idea how to read the results page. Example 2 shows the mutations, or differences, I have in my DNA from the Reference model used. These mutations occur among individuals and are disseminated throughout a population through the generations. In earlier eras, when migration was less frequent, these mutations would be limited to individuals living in a small region. Example 2 shows a letter before and after the number. The first letter represents the reference model, and the second represents our own difference from this reference. For example the first position here is A16129G, and we see the first letter is A and the last G . Position 16129 is A in the reference, and is G in my own sequence. These differences are used to place everyone into a Haplo group and subclades. A and G often shift positions, along with C and T.
I found another site besides Mitosearch and Sorenson to upload my full sequence results and compare; namely the MtDNA I found one match there. Not an exact match so we probably share an ancestors hundreds or thousands of years ago.
My best hope for a breakthrough with MtDNA would be a perfect match. I also hope we had a mutation in my line fairly recently, because that would mean we share an ancestor in the genealogical time frame.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The short life of Isis Forgey

My Aunt Isis lived to be about 5 months old, but her short has always fascinated me. She was born while my Grandfather Charles Lynn Forgey served in the US Marines. My Grandfather married my Grandmother Graciela Del Castillo in Nicaragua on 10 January 1919. Since Isis died in Nicaragua it's been difficult getting any information about her death. I've tried for a decade writing to various record offices in Nicaragua in an effort to get any additional bits of information about my ancestors there. I generally got no response at all. I did get one response from a Catholic Priest stating he could not find any information.
Thankfully the vital records for Managua, Nicaragua were filmed by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. These records have been digitized and uploaded to Familysearch and are fully searchable (I am hoping they eventually film the records in Granada).
I've asked my mother and her siblings about their sister Isis, but they didn't know very much about her other than she died very young in Nicaragua. My mother was under the impression Isis had broken her neck? She may have come to this conclusion after looking at a photo of Isis taken after her death. Her rigid position after her death may have made it look like her neck was broken? The family seemed to avoid talking about Isis, probably not wanting to bring back the memory of a painful event. No one knew her date of birth or death.
I've located 3 records mentioning Isis Forgey (she was named after her Grandmother Isis Browning Forgey). I now have her birth record, a 1920 US Census record, and a Death Record.
What I learned from these documents is:

  1. Isis was born on 26 January 1920 in Managua, Nicaragua
  2. Isis died on 3 May 1920 in Managua
  3. Isis died of a Gastro intestinal infection, and not a broken neck

Isis Forgey's birth record says her father Charles L. Forgey was in the Military
Isis Forgey's death record
1920 Census for Marine Legation Managua Nicaragua
 By April 1921 my Grandmother was back in her home city of Granada where my mother was born. My grandfather was out of the country in Honduras working in a goldmine at the time, he was discharged from the Marines in June 1920. My mother was born in the home of Horatio Arguello Bolanos. I found a newspaper clipping about him below. He may have been a cousin of my Grandmother?

My mother Edna Forgey-Kapple's Birth Certificate 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Roadwork Books lead to more Brainstorming

Andrew Forgey Knox County, TN Roadwork book 1802
I ordered a microfilm of the Roadwork books for Knox County, Tennessee from the Family History Library. I went to the FHC at the first opportunity when I got the call it came in. I was looking for any mentions of the Forgey, Fisher, and Reynolds families which might provide more information about the family. I had hoped that Archibald Forgey might have done some roadwork creating a connection for him with Knox County, TN. The first item on the microfilm was disappointing with no mentions of any family. The second and third items on the film were for the late 19th Century, which would be well past the time my family lived there.
I finally had a stroke of luck with older books again reappearing towards the middle of the film. After scanning through about 20 pages I finally hit a Forgey entry. This was for Andrew Forgey, a few pages past this I found my ancestor Hugh Forgey. These entries were for the years 1802 to 1804. I never ran across Archibald. It's estimated that he was born in 1790. The family left the Knox County area in 1806. Doing more research on the ages of men who were recruited for roadwork I found the age range of those who were required to perform the work. "Under a legislative act of 1804, counties were authorized to build roads and to require every able-bodied man between the ages of 18 and 50 to work on the roads or to hire a substitute to work in his place." So it is likely Archibald was too young to have been involved in roadwork. 
Deed witnessed by Elen and
 Andrew in Knox Couty, TN
The two Andrew Forgey entries raised the question again about who this Andrew is? We believe he is Andrew Forgey who married Eleanor Randall and later relocated to Maury County, TN. We know this Andrew was associated with Alexander Forgey who married Elizabeth Sawyers (daughter of John Sawyers). We know Alexander and Andrew split a 500 acre land grant which was sold to them by James Forgey. The roadwork book regards the appointment of Andrew Forgey to be overseer of the Road in front of John Sawyers property. This is another in a series of documents linking Andrew of with the Sawyers family. Andrew also witnessed the Will of Hannah Sawyers' wife of James Sawyers, sister-in-law of John. We later find Andrew Forgey of Maury County, TN serving as an administrator of Betsy Sawyers estate in1818, and we find him purchasing most of her estate. This is what led us to believe there was a connection between this Andrew, of Maury County, and the one found earlier in Knox County. I later found a deed witnessed by Andrew and an Elen in Knox County. This would again points to Andrew living in Knox County previously since his wife was sometimes called Elen. 
Hannah Sawyers will Knox County, TN

If we could connect Betsy Sawyers with the Sawyers family in Knox County that would prove with little doubt Andrew of Maury County is related to the family in Knox County. Unfortunately, I can't find a connection. I've found a William Sawyers on a tax list for that area, around Maury County, in 1812. This may be Betsy's husband? I believe Betsy is a relation of Andrew, perhaps a sister or sister-in-law? I've been researching the names of all the Sawyers in Knox County early on. So far I am just finding Colonel John Sawyers Family, and his sister-in-law Hannah and her family. Several males in these families married Elizabeths; but, not this Betsy in Maury County? John Sawyers had a son named William and there are conflicting dates of death given for him ranging from dying at birth to 1867. He is named in his father's 1828 will so we assume he is alive then. This could be Betsy's husband? They may have separated? William married Elizabeth Cassady in 1827. He was born in 1791 which would make an 1827 marriage a late one. William served in the Military during the War of 1812, and could have been in that frontier area in 1812. Sawyers deeds in Maury County,TN may be the only way to establish who Betsy was?  
Here are the names of James Sawyers family:
This is John Sawyers family:
Betsy Sawyers' administrator Andrew Forgey is named here in this Maury County, TN  document

Hugh Forgey serves on roadwork crew in 1804 Knox County, TN

Monday, November 11, 2013

Comparing DNA results with First Cousin

My ethnic breakdown autosomal DNA 
My First Cousin's Ethnic breakdown

My first cousin Susan DNA tested with 23andme and her results just came in. Susan shares my maternal line. When I saw the results I immediately noticed that she did not have any Middle Eastern? Her mother being my mother's sister I thought this was strange. My mother's results included 18 percent Middle Eastern. My results showed 13 percent Middle Eastern. My mother and I tested with Family Tree DNA. My mother's Middle Eastern was said to be Mozabite. I also thought it was odd that no Spanish showed up in Susan's results? Odd considering her grandmother Forgey was from Nicaragua?
Some of this inconsistent information probably has to do with the different testing procedures at the two companies. Also, ethnicity predictions are subject to debate. It's possible to determine the continent of origin of our ancestors using DNA testing, but pinpointing the exact country of origin is generally not possible. Isolated populations are probably much easier to make a connection with. Since Susan would have inherited half of her autosomal DNA from her mother it's possible that she didn't inherit the Middle Eastern associated markers? It's also possible that Aunt Dorothy didn't inherit as many Middle Eastern markers.
My cousin and I share approximately the same amount of Native American DNA, so this result seems quite accurate. Family Tree DNA doesn't show trace amounts of DNA such as the 1.4 percent Sub Saharan African Susan got from the 23andme test. I did find those traces when I used the Gedmatch admixtures and Doug McDonald also found a small amount. After taking the MtDNA test I discovered my maternal MtDNA Haplo group was Sub Saharan African. My cousins MtDNA is also Sub Saharan L2a, so we have confirmed that is correct. She actually got a more specific Haplo group of L2a1. I had heard that haplo L2a1c was Northern African but after doing more research it seems to be more widespread. So our Sub Saharan African is either from a slave from central Africa or a North African?  I had assumed that this result was connected with the Mozabite but it could be unrelated. Since MtDNA mutates very slowly and can remain unchanged for thousands of years it can be tricky to make assumptions based on it. Half of those who matched me on the HRV1 portion of the MtDNA test have African roots, and are descendants of former slaves, and the other half had Semitic roots. When I uploaded my HRV1 and HRV2 results to the Sorenson DNA site I found an exact match from Mali. This would tend to point to our L2a being from an African slave. It's probably impossible to say for certain though. Sometimes these tests raise more questions than they answer.

Sorenson MtDNA match

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Are we Jewish or not?

It seemed like I may have had a solution to my question after learning the Kapple/Kappel Koppel's male line DNA Haplo type was J2. Since many Jewish males have that haplo type, and our surname is associated with Ashkenazi Jews, I felt like the question was answered. I received an email from the Burgenland Bunch DNA study a few days ago with some analysis of the group results to date. The J2's in my families village area tend to be related to Aromun/Illyrian, which would mean they are from the Balkans or Greece. I will eventually upgrade my cousin Darryl's test kit to narrow down the sub group. My cousin's ultimate SNP is likely going to be around M241 which could be Balkan? It also may be semitic if it's L25? More testing may clarify.
It's interesting that most of my cousin's matches are Spanish. This may change after testing more markers. I sorted out my Family Finder matches separating my mother's side from my father's. I was very surprised to find I had a match on my father's side and they had hispanic roots. My father has no hispanic roots that I am aware of?
It is interesting that Northern Burgenlanders are more Germanic than those of the south, where my family is from. It does look like my Burgenland family is a mix of ethnicities. I have some Hungarian matches on my father's side. 
Considering my mother's Middle Eastern results were just Mozabite and mine included Palestinian; it's possible that the Palestinian is from my father? I'll upgrade the test when I have a chance and see if it can provide anymore insight?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Irish Relatives Drunk in Public?

Failing to pay the Poor Rate could land you in court as with Thomas and Stephen Huane. I believe they abandoned their property in Ireland.
It seems my Irish relatives in Mayo, Ireland weren't teetotalers. I used my Find My Past free trial to look at their court records collection. I was not able to determine whether my Mullen ancestors appeared in court due to the fact the Galway court records are not set up like the Mayo records. Not enough detail on the Galway side to establish the identity of someone with a common name.
The surname Huane is so uncommon and limited to a small area in Ireland, so it was easy to spot our family court records. The Huanes appeared in court a number of times; generally after having a few too many. Some of our Irish female ancestors were known to have a hair trigger temper (I would say that we generally tell the truth and people think it is hell, as Truman once said). We can see all of the rumors about the family verified in the records. Happily no one was ever seriously hurt in some of these skirmishes; Praise be to God!

Sounds like this may have been mutual combat, and charges were dropped

Most of the Huane court appearances had to do with the following circumstances; "Defendant were found drunk on the public road contrary to law."
This court case helped me to identify the location of my ancestors property. Griffith's Valuation of Ireland gave me an approximate location for Thomas Huane's property. Thomas Huane's cow strayed onto a neighbors property, and he sued because of this. The neighbor's property was in another townland, which leads me to believe Thomas Huane's land was located on the Townland boundary line with Bunduff. These records are interesting, and add to our knowledge of  the lives family members.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Backtracking and DNA Analysis

My Pie Chart

My Mother's DNA test results finally came in yesterday. It has caused me to rethink my previous conclusions. I had assumed since my father's surname was likely Jewish that all of my middle eastern came through his side of the family. My Mother, however, has even more Middle Eastern than I do.

My Mother Edna Forgey -Kapple's ethnic breakdown
My mother's Middle Eastern result of 18% leads me to believe that it is possible I may have inherited only 5% of my Middle Eastern from my father. As we can see with my Native American result the percentages go down by about half with each generation. I had heard that happens but now I see my mother's about 11% and my 5%.
According to my mother's population result she is 18% Mozabite. According to my result my Middle Eastern is Bedouin, Mozabite, Palestinian
My mother has 232 total matches. I have 219 matches. We share 93 common matches. So far I've found a Nicaraguan 3rd to 5th cousin match in my mother's match list. I've also found a Zirkle/Roush relative who is a match. to her but not me. I am happy that my mother shared even more DNA with a descendant of John Forgey of Tennessee which supports our inference that we are related. Stop and start places are not exact so it's a little hard to establish there actual location.
My mother Edna Kapple and Marion Kerr

My comparison with Marion

Comparing my confirmed 5th cousin Nan with my mother I get different numbers at FTDNA than I do at gedmatch. According to FTDNA their largest shared segment is 12.73(which is exactly what Nan and I share). According to Gedmatch it's 16 on Chromo 2 and 15 for me?  Who's right?

Nan and I
Nan Harvey and Edna Forgey-Kapple

I am making a list of the matches which fall on my father's side. FTDNA provides in common with match list, and a not in common with list. I downloaded the excel spreadsheet for these lists. I will note which matches are my mother's and which could be my father's, for all the lists then merge them.

Here is a comparison of Dodecad 13b charts between my mother and I:

Annette Kapple 

Edna Kapple

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Family Tree Maker vs RootsMagic Software

Right off the bat I have to say I would not recommend purchasing Family Tree Maker 2014, which just came out a few weeks ago, until it's fixed. It's going to take some time for them to work out several problems with the new version. 
I decided to purchase the 2014 version of Family Tree Maker because of the ability it gives you to sync your online tree with your personal software on your computer. I had spent many hours attaching and uploading information to that tree since 2010. I wanted to have a personal copy of it. You can download a gedcom of your tree, but that doesn't include media. I had been using Rootsmagic since 2010 as my personal genealogy software. Before Rootsmagic I used PAF which is similar but has fewer features.
Since I have some experience now using both softwares I decided to compare some of the features I use most often here:
First of all starting the program there is a difference in the time it takes for them to load. Rootsmagic generally loads immediately. Family Tree Maker never loads quickly. It can take between 1 to 3 minutes to load, and other times won't load at all? Family Tree Maker is also prone to freezing up while you are using it.
Looking at the primary screen Family Tree Maker lays out a great deal of data on one page, which can be useful when it comes to analyzing your data.

You can see that the primary page for Rootsmagic is much less busy. You can click on the tabs across the top to see family groups etc.. I prefer the less busy screen of Rootsmagic.

One thing I would change about RootsMagic is the dialog box that comes up when you want to import a file or Photos. I use date and name search to look for files on my computer. It is time consuming trying to locate a file without that feature in the dialog box.
The hated no search dialog box at Rootsmagic
The preferred Family Tree Maker searchable dialog box
Another place where Family Tree Maker shines is with their media viewer. You can flip through your images and look at them in the media viewer. You can only view one image at a time with Rootsmagic. You can scroll through thumbnails of your images at Rootsmagic. When you want to see them at a larger size you have to click on each one individually. The resolution of the image isn't as sharp at Rootsmagic either.

You can see the difference when you compare this image from Rootsmagic with the FTM viewer below

Family Tree Maker media viewer

My primary reason for using genealogy software is to keep a record of my research so I can refer back to it, which I often do, during my research process. Another way I enjoy using the software is generating books and charts to share with family. I like the Rootmagic book generating feature better than Family Tree Maker. The FTM book generating process is more clumsy and time consuming. Rootsmagic takes all of the facts you've imputed for each individual ancestor and creates a narrative summary of with these facts. You can produce a narrative report which includes all your ancestors, very quickly, and includes notes. Family Tree Maker Smart Stories produces a better narrative with the facts in your database. It sounds less computer generated; plus, you can type info to the report. The only problem is you have to create a smart story for each ancestor then combine the stories using the publish book feature. Since I would like to include a couple hundred narratives this might be time consuming.

This is the narrative generated by Rootsmagic
Smart Story Family Tree Maker
Rootsmagic produces a very attractive scrapbook. I have not found this feature at Family Tree Maker.
Page produced with Rootsmagic scrapbook.
In closing, I now have two genealogy software programs on my computer (plus still have paf). I think I'll be using features from both to create a book. I might use the comprehensive narrative report from Rootsmagic, and the Smart Story from Family Tree Maker for ancestors I want more indepth stories for. I would also use some of the Scrapbook pages from Rootsmagic. Since Rootsmagic opens faster I would probably refer to it more during research. I will be using the syncing feature at Family Tree maker if they can get it working properly. The FamilySearch tree access at Rootsmagic is also a useful feature. You can compare your tree with FamilySearch's tree and add any information you don't already have. Having several genealogy programs is nice, I can use the best features of  all of them.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy Dance DNA, Irish Style!

On August 21 and 22 Family Tree DNA posted new matches. I was very surprised to find a match with someone who has ancestors in the same Townland area in Ireland as my Huane/Huvane family. According to my match's posted information he is a descendant of Kirrane and Hosty ancestors. I recall these names from my searches of the local records.
Griffith's Valuation for Pollaturick Co. Galway
Shanballybocht or Shanballyvought is near Fallakeeran, Co. Mayo where my family was from. I also noticed a Kirrane family lived near my Mullen family in nearby Pollaturick Co. Galway. The Kirranes lived near the Mullen's from the time of  Griffith'sValuation of Ireland (mid 19th century) to the 20th Century.
This match lives in Australia. Match
Below lives in Ireland
I have had a number of Irish related matches at Family Tree DNA. One of my other recent matches was for Seamus Doherty. Likely someone still in Ireland? I also matched several people with Irish roots living in places like Australia and New Zealand. I have no connections to those places and assume our common ancestors are from Ireland?
I also had a few matches from Ulster Ireland. I have both Irish Catholic and Ulster Protestant roots in Ireland. It's great to see matches from the Co. Down and Armagh areas. 
I knew for certain I had this Irish Heritage but when you actually see DNA matches from there it really makes you feel more connected to Ireland. With so many record losses in Ireland it's nearly impossible to know how I'm related to my Irish matches but good to see I do have Irish DNA anyway.

This is the Baptism record for my Great Grandmother Helen (Ellen)  Mullen/Mason; only a few pages from the late 19th survive

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Getting Ahead of Ourselves

Browning Timeline

When I say "getting ahead of ourselves", I mean really stretching inferential genealogy to its limits. I've been working on my Great-grandmother Isis Browning-Forgey's line. As I wrote before the first family line I found way back when FamilySearch went online was a Browning family tree. This pedigree file tree went back to the 1600's. It didn't contain any sources. I am now attempting to source it.
So far all we have linking the family line in Tennessee to Maryland is naming patterns. The Brownings in Maryland used the names Roger, Nathan, and Benjamin which are also used by our Tennessee family. Our Roger Browning would be in the age range to be the son of Benjamin Browning who died in Montgomery, Maryland. This Benjamin's land was inherited by Roger, the eldest son, through primogeniture. Roger sells that land in 1787 and disappears from local records. Does he migrate to Tennessee at this point? Maybe?
I decided to continue researching the line in Maryland even though it's not established for certain our Brownings are related. I hoped something in Maryland would point to the family migrating to Tennessee. Nothing so far. I have found some interesting facts about the Maryland Brownings. Jeremiah Browning (may be Roger's brother?) served on the Continental Line in the Revolutionary War. He was badly injured during his service. He did lived to old age despite of his injuries. He died in 1839 in Bracken County, Kentucky. His brother Zephaniah was killed in the Revolutionary War.
Elizabeth the wife of the said
I have disproven that Drusilla Burton was the wife of Edward Sr. Looking at land records Edward's wife is named Elizabeth. Drusilla may have been Edward Jr.'s wife? She would have been too young to have been the mother of Edward Sr.'s children.
What I've accomplished so far:

  1. I've thoroughly searched land records for Maryland  at the Archives site.
  2. I search Maryland records at Familysearch
  3. Maryland records at
  4. DAR Patriot index

A lawsuit alleging one of Edward Browning's wills was destroyed was brought by a possible daughter of Edward. I am hoping this lawsuit may contain the proof I need to link my line to this Maryland line. Relying on naming patterns alone may be stretching inferential genealogy too far beyond reason. Tennessee and Maryland are a bit far away for my comfort when it comes to using naming patterns alone to prove relationship.

Children named on Edward Browning's will